How to Identify a Craigslist Scammer

Protect yourself from online fraudsters by spotting the scammers.

Scams on Craigslist are not something that you have heard about. Scams on this website are as common as using the website. No matter how useful the website is for you, Craigslist scams make you think twice before indulging in there. If you are a Craigslist user worrying about scams, we have got you covered. This article will be the perfect guide for you as here you will be learning how to avoid getting scammed on Craigslist. Most importantly you are going to find out how to identify a craigslist scammer. There can also be situations where you can feel like I got scammed on Craigslist and what are my solution. In these cases, you don’t need to panic. Continue reading to learn how to mess with Craigslist scammer and how do you know if you are getting scammed on Craigslist.

How to Identify a Craigslist Scammer

How to Identify a Craigslist Scammer

If you are a regular Craigslist user, you need to be aware of the points below. These points will also help you learn about how do you know if you are getting scammed on Craigslist.

  • A scammer will always put an ad listing that will be too good to be trusted. It is always recommended to compare the value of items on the listings with other e-commerce sites. If you find the pricing and other details genuine, then you can probably proceed with the purchase. If there is any mismatch or anything that seems fishy, then you can easily identify the scammer.
  • Ad listing from scammers will display a sense of urgency. The listing may have various reasons, like leaving the city or needing cash for emergencies and many more. Such listings do not give you enough time to think or research about the deal. Therefore, scammers usually post such listings to trap buyers.
  • Scammers generally end up making grammatical and spelling errors. Errors are common, but several errors in an ad listing are not common. A genuine seller will go through the listing multiple times before posting it. These are the scammers who make errors like misuse of punctuation, spelling errors, and including a lot of special characters.
  • A Scammer will never want to meet the buyer in person. Meeting in person is considered the best option before purchasing as it lets you have some idea about the seller and you can also witness the product. In case of a damaged or old product, you can negotiate the deal further or cancel the deal at once if you don’t want the product anymore.
  • Make sure to read the ad list thoroughly as scammers tend to copy others’ ad listings with a different image as well. To avoid spamming, Craigslist tends to take down identical ads. However, scammers make it non-identical by adding a different picture. You must be careful while encountering such ad lists.
  • A scammer will always ask you to make the payment in advance. As we mentioned above, a genuine seller would always like to meet in person. Likewise, a genuine seller will expect payment after the product reached the buyer’s hand. If the seller is asking for payment in advance, then it is a red flag.
  • Perform a reverse image search on any search engine to see whether the listing contains original or stolen images. A scammer will certainly use stolen images to make an ad listing. Visit our blog on reverse scammer image to learn more about it.

Listed above are the points that explain how to identify a Craigslist scammer. Moving on you will learn about how to mess with Craigslist scammers. If you are deeply interested in tracking a scammer, you can also read our blog on track a scammer.

Also Read: How Do You Track a Scammer

Are Craigslist Scams Common?

Yes, Craigslist is an online marketplace that enables local people to buy and sell goods with each other. It gives the users the freedom to negotiate according to their will. Most of the listings on the website are genuine, but there are also times when scammers get attracted to make money easily. Though it is hard to estimate the number of scams, it can be said that scams on Craigslist are common. It is so because most of the cases are not even reported.

Craigslist website

How to Mess with Craigslist Scammer

If you are wondering I got scammed on Craigslist what are my options, then you have to hang on. Once you identify a Craigslist scammer next step is to report them so that they are not indulging in such malpractices again. To mess with a Craigslist scammer, you can follow the below-mentioned steps.

1. Open the listing that you have identified as fraud and click on the flag option from the top of the post.

Open the listing that you have identified as fraud and click on the flag icon at the top of the post

2. If you receive an email from a scammer, scroll down till the end and click on Please flag unwanted messages to report them.

3. Then, open the Craigslist contact form to send a more detailed report to Craigslist.

Use this contact form to send a more detailed report to Craigslist | How to Identify a Craigslist Scammer

These were the steps that explained how to mess with Craigslist scammers.

Craigslist also allows you to reach out to the following:

  • SIIA Software and Content Piracy Reporting
  • Consumer Sentinel/Military (for armed service members and family)
  • Internet Fraud Complaint Centre
  • FTC complaint form and hotline: 877- FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)

What Can a Craigslist Scammer Do with My Phone Number?

If you are wondering what can a Craigslist scammer do with my phone number, you need to pull up your socks. This can happen on both buyers’ and sellers’ part.

  • Your number is only safe until you reveal the Google Voice code to the counterpart. Once you share the six-digit code, they can access all your Google accounts.
  • Moreover, they can also ask you to enter your phone number on a website that can store all your details.
  • Your number can also be used to send phishing texts and install malware or spyware by sending suspicious links and much more.

Therefore, it is not recommended to share your contact number on Craigslist. Read this article from the start to learn how to identify a Craigslist scammer.

Also Read: What To Do If a Scammer Has Your Email Address?

How to Avoid Getting Scammed on Craigslist

You can follow the points given below to avoid getting scammed on Craigslist.

  • Before signing up buying or selling process on Craigslist, you should be thorough with the terms and conditions of the website.
  • Try to make deals locally
  • Make sure you examine the product before finalizing the deal
  • Do not reveal any personal information to the buyer or the seller
  • Always use cash as a medium of transaction
  • Use a number that you can discard once the transaction is done

How to Not Get Scammed on Craigslist as a Seller

You can follow the points given below to avoid getting scammed as a Craigslist seller.

  • Do not reveal your personal information on the website
  • Stick through one communication channel and limit your communication
  • Try to make transactions in person using cash as a medium or any other approved method
  • Be careful while shipping the product
  • Be aware of seller protections and guidelines


We hope that this guide was helpful and you were able to learn about how to identify a Craigslist scammer. Let us know if you found this article helpful. If you have any queries or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments section below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *